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Summary Of Tim O 'Brien's The Things They Carried'

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In chapter one of “The Things They Carried”, Tim O’Brien uses multiple levels of ambiguity regarding the word “carry” in order to demonstrate how war negatively affects soldiers in both mental and physical ways. In doing so, O’Brien argues that war is pointless and needlessly damaging to drafted soldiers. O’Brien begins the chapter by describing the physical supplies the men are carrying to ensure their safety in battle. They carry plentiful weaponry, including guns, mines, and grenades: “They carried all they could bear, and then some, including a silent awe for the terrible power of the things they carried” (7). O’Brien both tangible and intangible objects in this sentence to emphasize how the men are carrying many more burdens than just...

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